A look at the Pacers roster as the offseason begins
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – A 42-40 team with a first round playoff exit. That’s how the 2016-17 Pacers will be remembered. As the final echos of a bouncing basketball fade into the rafters at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, we now look at the decisions team president Larry Bird and the front office need to make in regards to the roster.
The Pacers have two players whose contracts are now expired. Coincidentally, they both play point guard: Jeff Teague and Aaron Brooks. Teague came to Indiana last offseason in a trade with the Hawks, and the former Pike High standout averaged 15.3 points, 7.8 assists, and 4.0 rebounds per game with the Blue and Gold. Brooks signed with the Pacers last offseason and saw action in 65 games as a back up.
“I love Indiana,” said Teague after the Pacers’ game four loss to the Cavaliers. “You all know me: Born and raised, tattoos on my arm. I’ve been wanting to play for the Pacers my whole life, so it was a great opportunity for me to be here. I loved it.”
If Bird decides to let both Teague and Brooks walk, Joe Young would be the only remaining point guard on the roster, however…
The Pacers have three players with a club option year in their contract for 2017-18: Young, Glenn Robinson III, and Lavoy Allen. Robinson just wrapped up his best season as a pro, starting 27 games, averaging better than 6 points per, and winning the NBA Slam Dunk Contest on All Star Weekend. Allen is one of the longer-tenured Pacers on the roster, coming to the team in 2014. He started five games last year while averaging just 2.9 points a contest. Young was drafted to Indiana in the second round in 2015. He saw his appearances and minutes decline from year one to year two with the Blue and Gold, finishing this season scoring just 68 total points in 33 appearances.
“I love Indiana,” said Robinson in the locker room. “I love the Pacers. This organization has been great to me. Teammates, coaching staff, everything has been top-notch.”
“What I want to do this summer is continue to get better (and) hopefully help this team out in even more of a role next year. Those are my goals for this offseason.”
C.J. Miles has a player option in his contract for the upcoming season, which according to Spotrac would pay him approximately $4.8 million. A 12-year NBA veteran, Miles just turned 30 years old this March as is coming off three-straight seasons averaging 10+ points per game.
“Hopefully we can try to keep familiar faces and things and try to keep moving together,” said Miles Sunday evening.
“We have enough. We could have done it. I think that we’re gonna do it. I think we’re gonna be able to in the future. I think we’re gonna keep building. I think guys are gonna keep getting better. I believe that.”